Accusations of Professor Emeritus Teo Kok Seong against Chinese schools are unfair, baseless, racist and inflammatory

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In response to Prof Emeritus Teo Kok Seong’s recent allegations against Chinese schools, I would like to address several points. Firstly, his accusations are not only unjustified but also potentially divisive and harmful. There is no credible basis for his claims, and they could be construed as hate speech, fostering suspicion and division between communities.

Teo’s assertion that Chinese-educated individuals look down on and disparage Malays is not only untrue but also mischievous. Such statements only serve to perpetuate stereotypes and deepen rifts in our multicultural society. It is important to recognize that the vast majority of Chinese-educated individuals do not harbor such sentiments and actively contribute to a harmonious society.

Moreover, Teo’s remarks insult the Chinese community as a whole, disregarding the significant contributions of Chinese vernacular schools to education in Malaysia. These schools, largely supported by the community, have produced countless successful individuals who are proficient not only in Chinese language, but also in Bahasa Malaysia and English.

It is also worth noting that many Chinese-educated students have been accepted into local public universities, demonstrating their competency in Bahasa Malaysia. The accusation that Chinese school students cannot communicate effectively in Bahasa Malaysia is unfounded and ignores the achievements of countless students who have excelled in their studies.

Furthermore, Teo’s remarks reveal a poor understanding of Chinese vernacular schools and their inclusive nature. According to the Education Ministry reply in Parliament in November 2020, the percentage of Malay students in the Chinese vernacular school has increased from 9.15 percent in 2010 to 15.3 percent in 2020.  The increasing number of Malay students attending these schools is a testament to their commitment to diversity and multiculturalism. If these schools were truly promoting racism, they would not attract such a diverse student body.

In conclusion, Teo’s accusations against Chinese vernacular schools are baseless and inflammatory. They do a disservice to the principles of unity and inclusivity that we should strive to uphold in our society. It is my hope that we can move past these divisive statements and work towards a future where all communities are respected and valued.

Teresa Kok


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